MMN’s Policy Dialogue on the Roles of Countries of Origin will be held from 20-21 July 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar

MMN Policy Dialogue on the Roles of Countries of Origin

From 20-21 July, the Mekong Migration Network will be hosting a Policy Dialogue on the Roles of Countries of Origin in Yangon, Myanmar.

The dialogue will provide an opportunity for MMN to share its research findings from its recent research and advocacy project and propose recommendations on the roles that can be played by countries of origin in protecting migrant workers.

Discussion on the roles of countries of origin will revolve around the following seven categories:

(1) establishing migration mechanisms;

(2) information dissemination;

(3) regulation of recruitment agencies;

(4) provision of overseas assistance;

(5) international co-operation;

(6) provision of overseas welfare funds and social security; and

(7) facilitating reintegration.

MMN will put forward recommendations under each of these categories and seek dialogue among participants, which will include members of the Myanmar and Cambodia governments, private recruitment agencies, ILO, IOM, and CSOs from Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines, on a way forward for Myanmar and Cambodia.

This study, shaped by MMN research partners’ extensive knowledge of the issues and a strong commitment to prioritising the voice of migrant workers on issues that affect them, has also culminated in the form of a publication titled, “Safe from the Start: The roles of countries of origin in protecting migrants”, which will be launched during the dialogue.

Background information on the project

MMN’s research project examining the roles countries of origin can play in making migration safer was conducted from April 2015 to May 2017. The study reviewed the roles of countries of origin generally, including common practices and international standards, as well as measures put in place by the Philippines and Indonesia to highlight practices with different impacts, both good and bad. In order to provide a case study on the implementation of these regimes, the project examined the situation of Filipino and Indonesian migrant workers in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. Moreover, the study analysed current policies and practices in Myanmar and Cambodia and developed recommendations for both governments aimed at strengthening the protection and promotion of workers’ rights abroad.

Data was collected through a combination of primary and secondary research methods. Consultation meetings were held by MMN research partners with a total of 162 migrant workers in Thailand and returnees in Myanmar and Cambodia across six locations. During these consultations, participants discussed the migration systems and policies of their own countries, shared their experiences of migration, and made suggestions as to how their governments could make migration a safer and more positive experience. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with various key informants including representatives of the Philippine and Indonesian consulates in Hong Kong, civil society organisation (CSO) representatives in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, and government, intergovernmental organisation (IGO), and recruitment agency representatives in Myanmar and Cambodia. This information was supplemented with data from an extensive literature review and consultation meetings with local CSOs in Myanmar and Cambodia, and jointly analysed during research partner meetings.